Facial lipoatrophy, or “facial wasting,” is one of the most visible symptoms of many HIV antiretroviral treatments. We have friends who cite facial wasting as among the worst side effects of their HIV status, because it’s an obvious tell, and hurts their self-confidence. Some good news, then: Under new Medicare and Medicaid rules, the government-backed health insurance providers will cover treatments for FDA-approved facial fillers like
Sculptra and Radiesse, which often cost upwards of $1,500 per treatment, and which patients often need to receive more than once a year. The coverage begins immediately. Critics might say it’s a waste of government funds on a cosmetic procedure, but researchers wiser than we report facial wasting leads to depression, which of course can lead to other, much more debilitating ailments.
(Pictured: A patient before and after treatment)